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Dvorak;Antonin Rusalka

Renée Fleming , Sergej Larin , François Roussillon    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Sale: CDN$ 237.00
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I believe the singing and musical performance in this production are wonderful, a pleasure from start to finish. Fleming, Hawlata (as the water goblin) and the wood nymphs are particularly beautiful. I hadn't realized how good Fleming is until seeing this performance. Don't hesitate to buy this recording.
On the other hand... This is a matter of taste I realize, but I really prefer traditional, realistic staging for a work like this. The production is interesting. It seems to be making a point about the surface between the water and earthly worlds. The sets are full of mirrors, reflections, even doppelgangers. They're physically beautiful, and the production is less ridiculous than many conceptualist distortions of 19th-century operas, but still, I would have preferred a traditional design. This is irritating to me, but I can "tune it out" and enjoy the music thoroughly. It does appear to me that, as tastes develop, we are seeing fewer of these essentially egocentric production designs. The cult of the conductor is also in decline I hope. Levine replaces Karajan.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculous production May 20 2004
I am a Professor of Music, who teaches an Introduction to Opera course. I recently saw the absolutely fabulous Met production of Rusalka with Renee Fleming--it was pure gold, as was she. This DVD, on the other hand, even her glorious singing cannot redeem. The production makes no sense whatever and destroys the magic of this beautiful fairy-tale opera. The only way to experience this DVD is with eyes closed--or, better still, not at all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ENCHANTED June 26 2004
I loved it through and through. Renee Fleming is great in the role and the whole cast is excellent. I highly recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for singing, -1 for production May 14 2004
The singing is top drawer and the production is just not very interesting to me. Years ago, I saw Renee in a beautiful traditional production in San Diego and I kept wishing that this was a film of that production with these wonderful singers. I just "didn't get" the production at all. The acting and singing are certainly worth the price of this DVD, however, and I do recommend it if only for the performances. Renee is wonderful, but I have heard her sing her signature aria with more meaning at other times not to fault this rendering. The music is just gorgeous and diction not really understandable per my friend who speaks fluent Czeh but since I don't, it didn't bother me one bit. Subtitles are available. I recommend it for the music and the singing which is what opera is all about anyway! James Conlon can do no wrong in my little play book!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Singing-5 stars,production-1 star May 11 2004
To be brief, this DVD is still worth buying for the great singing and sound quality. The production is terrible----- another example of cheap modern eurotrash.The whole ambience is cold, unlike the magical fantasy of the Met/ Vienna production which should be taped instead.It is cheaper than to buy the full CD set anyway. So just turn off the TV screen and enjoy !
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